Reflecting on 2015

So.... we made it!.... The universe gave birth to 2016.
I've been doing some reflection upon the last year and I feel it's pretty safe to say it's been my craziest year to date.

January: It started with re-cooperating from the jet-lag and the emotional roller-coaster of events experienced in Thailand (meeting the doctor that delivered me, getting massive food poisoning due to sliding down a waterfall and swallowing water, meeting Thai people that live in Bangkok slums, rock climbing in the south, motorbiking in the north etc). Immediately following Thailand, I spent some time in Northern Texas and then on my way home I experienced a total airport fiasco where thousands of people were stranded in the Chicago airport and had to sleep overnight in pull-out cots because the weather was too icy for the planes to take off (it was awful yet hilarious enough to make it the American news). Immediately coming home from my Thailand/Texas/Chicago escapades, I was embraced by the Canadian blues scene at the Toronto blues society's bi-annual blues summit... I played my first official showcase! I recall ripping a huge glissando down my keyboard which resulted in knocking my keyboard off it's stand and catching it before it crashed to the ground haha. Jerry Lee Lewis woulda been proud??

Feb: I moved out of the house I had lived in for 5 years in Edmonton which was the end of an era for me. That little yellow home provided a chapter where I did a lot of growing and shaping. It was hard to lock the door for the final time, but post moving out - I'm grateful for the change and so happy that I had the years on 84th ave. My travelling in February took me back to Kansas City for the International Folk Alliance Conference where I again, had little sleep, and a LOT of laughs ha. It's hard to really explain what music conferences are like for you readers that have never been.. but... it's a crazy weekend where there's music coming from 3 floors worth of hotel rooms 24/7, plus the balancing act of trying to fit meetings with industry folks and catching up with old friends. On the last day of the conference, I found out that I lost my grandmother, whom I was named after. She was a blue-eyed, youthful spirited woman that knew how to lead by example and knew how to laugh. It was heavy coming home to the news but it felt good to celebrate a life such as hers.

Mar - May: Headed out on the road from Alberta-Quebec and back. The main gig on this tour was my residency at The Cameron House in Toronto. Every Wed for 5 weeks, my band and I played on Queen street. It was SO much fun!!! I rented an apartment right off Queen street and spent a lot of time roaming the downtown core and living in the city as I would back home in Alberta. My Cameron House residency in April was easily a highlight of my 2015 year.

June: Festival in the kootenays BC with my band and then returned home to play the WINSPEAR in Edmonton - with a 6 piece band. Wow. That was another mega highlight of 2015.

July: July was a really cool month. For the first time, I toured as a sideman - playing keys and singing - for this incredible songwriter out of Toronto: Jay Aymar. Jay, and his guitar player Joe Ernewein, and I did a string of dates throughout Alberta. I REALLY enjoyed playing in a supportive role  - especially for Jay's music - his songs are sensitive and demand breathing room so we held this sort of 'loose feel' to highlight his well thought out lyrics was a fun way to make music. Check out his stuff!: (He's a hilarious writer - you will definitely dig his blog!) Jay Aymar. Following Jay's tour, I headed down to the Calgary Folk Fest and then west for my annual BC summer dates. ALSO, I became an auntie in July!! My sister gave birth to a beautiful little bandit named Ruth Marie. I'm in love with her!

August: New Orleans!!!!!! I finally went and checked out the city where so much of the music I love came from!!! Highlight: Maple Leaf Bar to hear Johnny Vidacovich OWN it - famous n'awlins drummer. Also: Cafe Rose Nicaud for eggs benedict on the corner of Frenchmen street every morning was something I will never forget haha.

Sept: A full month at home - the only one I've had in over a year! Shot two new vids (that I'll be posting) through Northern Sessions.

Oct - Dec: LONGEST TOUR TO DATE. I drove from Edmonton to Cape Breton and back. It was the longest, but most successful tour I've ever had. It's hard to say what my highlights were because there were so many good ones. The gig in Sutten,QB with David Vest and his band was world-class, my show on Halloween night in St. Peter's, NS (Cape Breton) was a damn good party, the double back to back nights at Hugh's Room in Toronto was overwhelming, playing Times Change(d) w/ JD Edwards on the way home to a standing only room crowd was possibly the best way to end my long two month... it's hard to say. I got to see Peggy's Cove, go to Massey Hall, play Hugh's Room twice, received a Maple Blues Award nomination!!, showcased at the Folk Music Ontario, explore Quebec City and Montreal, spread my wings out to the east coast, catch up with friends all over the country, made new ones...! It was AWESOME.

Dec: Came home from the road and did NOT catch up on sleep haha. I should have been detoxing next to a coffee pot and writing songs but instead I played 18 Christmas gigs in 11 days and then got sick on Christmas day - time to slow down...

Up Next??
Flying out to Toronto on January 15th for a string of dates in the area and presenting an award at the 2016 Maple Blues Awards!!!

Here are the two new videos/tunes that were shot last September (singing are the stunning ladies Alex Vissia and Justine Vandergrift):
Dreamers and Lovers
Who's That Girl

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!! I fully believe that this year is going to be even more exciting and challenging than the last and I wish the exact same for YOU!

As always - thanks for reading!
Love,
Jenie

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